Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The rotating Echo Show 10 may dethrone the Nest Hub Max as best display


Alexa on the move

Amazon Echo Show 10


$250 at Amazon


  • Rotating screen tracks you in full semi-circle
  • 13MP Camera
  • Slightly larger tweeter speakers
  • Low power mode, made from recyclables
  • Zigbee + Sidewalk compatibility
  • Sentry mode security camera


  • No facial, voice recognition
  • Very large, heavy

The Amazon Echo Show 10 is a game-changing smart display that extends its smarts beyond the assistant to the device itself. While in use, its 13MP camera tracks you physically, so you never lose sight of the display while moving about the room. Fast Alexa commands and good speaker tech make this a smart display worth buying.

Knows your face and voice

Nest Hub Max


$230 at Best Buy


  • 127-degree wide-angle camera
  • Facial and voice matching
  • Quick gestures
  • Fantastic audio quality
  • Auto-dimming screen
  • Long list of Google Assistant-compatible devices


  • Rear-firing speakers can cause sound issues
  • Mic/camera cover turns off both at once

The Nest Hub Max was designed to cater to multiple people at once. It remembers faces and voices, and once it spots you it gives you specific info and recommendations based on your user profile and Google account. Without a doubt, this is one of the best smart displays available today.

After a painful wait, the all-new Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) is finally shipping on February 25, when it will be an immediate candidate to overthrow the Google Nest Hub Max as the best smart display. While we haven’t tested Amazon’s new device yet, we already know the Echo Show 10 can rotate to follow people around the room, has a far superior camera for video calls, and has two separate processors for lightning-fast Alexa commands. Yet Google still has a few tricks up its sleeve like facial recognition and quick gesture controls that Amazon hasn’t matched yet. Here’s everything you need to know about the Echo Show 10 vs Nest Hub Max before buying one.

Amazon Echo Show 10 vs. Nest Hub Max: Comparing tracking and camera tech


Both the Echo Show 10 and Nest Hub Max can track your location as you move around a room. For the Nest Hub Max, this is mostly limited to video calls — the 6.5MP camera has a 127-degree wide-angle lens that can digitally zoom in on your face as you move, so the person on the other end of the call doesn’t lose sight of you even when you’re busy. Of course, this only works to an extent since the Max cannot rotate if you move out of its line of sight.

The Amazon Echo Show 10’s 13MP camera not only tracks you during calls, but moves its screen to follow you thanks to its motorized, rotating top. You can turn off this function at any time via Alexa or a switch on top of the touchscreen, but with automated tracking enabled, it will use “audio beamforming technology and computer vision” to follow you around while you’re using it.

With the Echo Show 10, no matter where you go in the room, you’ll never lose sight of what you’re watching or who you’re talking to.

The Echo Show 10 screen can turn 175 degrees in either direction from its default position, meaning it can face backward but can’t do a full circle. You can also move or tilt the screen manually. What isn’t especially clear is what the Echo Show 10 will do if there are multiple people in the room. We hope it won’t move from one face or voice to the other like a spectator at a tennis match, but we’ll have to test it ourselves to find out. We do know that the turning mechanism is silent, so it won’t be an annoyance.

One unique Nest Hub Max feature is facial and voice recognition. Google’s Face Match and Voice Match enable the smart display to recognize multiple users as different people. If you say “Hey Google”, the Max will register your identity and pull up your Google account-related notifications, personal Spotify playlists, and so on. However, if it sees and hears your roommate ask a question, it’ll display all of their Google account notifications instead.

Automatic user customization is a useful feature for a multi-person household, though some will see stored facial recognition data on Google’s servers as a privacy issue. Amazon, on the other hand, says that it only uses its data to determine what in the room is a person, but doesn’t store any individualized data.

Amazon’s 13MP camera will improve the quality of video calls compared to Google’s 6.5MP camera — at least for the people on the other end. Our Nest Hub Max reviewer said that the track and zoom feature worked best if you are within six to eight feet of the display in proper lighting. It’s possible then that the increased megapixels on the Echo Show will provide better zoom quality at further distances for more freedom of movement.

On your end, however, both devices have a 1080p (1280×800) resolution and only a 0.1-inch difference in screen size, so the quality of your friends’ and family’s faces will be comparable on either display.

Amazon Echo Show 10 vs. Nest Hub Max: Security and smart home tech


Amazon recently revealed its Guard Plus security system, which enables any Echo speaker to call emergency services with Alexa commands, monitor the sounds of smoke and glass break alarms via your speaker mics, and set up home automations that respond to motion alerts with tricks to scare away intruders.

Who needs an indoor security camera, when the Echo Show 10 can automatically pan across a room to seek out and warn you of any motion?

For example, if your Blink, Ring, or Arlo security cams (or Echo Show 10) detect motion, you can program your Echo Show 10 to respond instantly by projecting fake dog barking or a loud siren. Amazon recently made all of its Echo devices compatible with Zigbee smart home devices, so you should check to see if any smart bulbs you own (or plan to buy) will work with the Show 10.

The Echo Show 10 specifically ties into the Guard Plus program by enabling a “Sentry mode” during which the Show 10 sporadically pans across the room to seek out intruders. In theory, this could allow you to skip buying an indoor security camera for that room because you can use the Drop-In feature to pull up the live camera feed at any time, and see/hear for yourself what is happening.

As for the Nest Hub Max, it lives up to its name and serves as a hub for all your Nest Aware-compatible and Google Assistant-compatible smart devices. It’s very easy to link up smart devices to the Hub Max, either through voice commands or by tapping on the display.

Which smart display you choose will depend on which home security system, if any, you use. Neither is particularly effective on its own.

As a camera, the Nest Hub Max also can act as an indoor surveillance tool. You can check the live view on your phone at any time — along with the live view of other Nest Cams you may own — and will receive motion or sound alerts if it detects a problem. Plus, if you pay for Nest Aware, you get continuous recording so you have evidence of any crimes, as well as “familiar face alerts” so you know you don’t need to check an alert if it’s your roommate walking in the room.

How do they compare as security cams? They’re mainly useful for daytime monitoring when away from home, but neither can detect motion at night if the lights are off. Both rely on a monthly security subscription — the Nest Aware subscription for Google devices, or the Ring Protect subscription for Amazon devices, which bundles in Amazon Guard Plus for free. Frankly, you can buy a cheap indoor security camera that offers much better protection at a fraction of the price; either smart display is more useful to watch security footage than to generate it.

Amazon Echo Show 10 vs. Nest Hub Max: Spec breakdown and sound quality


In our Nest Hub Max review, we said that it had fantastic audio quality. We were impressed by its camera tracking for video calls, as well as its mic quality for picking up commands even when the music is loud, but lamented that the rear-firing speakers caused some audio balancing issues with bass. As for the Echo Show 10, we won’t be able to test its audio quality until it’s closer to sale, but we can compare its announced built-in speakers and other specs, shown in the table below:

Price $250 $230
Processor MediaTek 8183 main processor plus second processor with Amazon AZ1 Neural Edge Amlogic T931
Smart Assistant Alexa Google Assistant
Touchscreen 10.1″ HD 10″ HD
Speakers 2×1.0″ tweeters, 1×3.0″ woofer 2x.7″ 10W tweeters, 1×2.95″ 30W woofer
Camera 13MP + Shutter 6.5MP with 127º FOV
Privacy controls Physical cover for mic, electronic switch for mic Physical cover switch for mic and camera
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), dual-antenna (MIMO) 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz)
Bluetooth A2DP, AVRCP 5.0
Chromecast built-in No Yes
Smart Home Integration Zigbee + Sidewalk Works with Google Assistant
Moving camera Brushless motor with +/- 175° rotation physically rotates device Camera zooms in and moves to track person speaking (the Nest itself doesn’t move)
Face Match No Yes
Voice Match No Yes
Gesture controls No Yes
Photos Can display Amazon or Facebook photos on home screen Can display Google Photos on home screen
Low Power Mode Uses less power when not in use Dims screen to ambient lighting when not in use
Security system compatibility Works with Guard Plus Works with Nest Aware
Can you delete old recordings? Yes Yes
Size 9.89″x9.06″x6.77″ 9.85″x7.19″x3.99″
Weight 5.64 lbs 2.91 lbs

Amazon claims that its AZ1 Neural Edge was built to halve the response time between a voice command and Alexa’s response, so one can hope that this will be the fastest Echo Show yet. It also equals the Nest Hub Max’s woofer size and has slightly larger dual tweeters. Considering the Echo Show 10 design with its rotating display, it’s unclear if the speakers face a particular direction, and if so whether the sound quality will be affected when the display moves.

Amazon’s AZ1 chip, adaptive color photos, MIMO Wi-Fi support, and Low Power Mode make it clear that the older Nest Hub Max needs an upgrade.

Alexa’s dual processors aren’t just for voice commands. The Echo Show 10 has a cool new feature called adaptive color, which takes your Amazon Photos on the home screen and “blends on-screen colors with the tone and hue of the room environment for more natural images”. The Nest Hub Max also lets you put Google Photos on the home screen, and dims the display to the same level of brightness as your room when not in use, but doesn’t play with the photo settings.

With either display, you get Bluetooth support for streaming from your devices and dual-band Wi-Fi for voice assistant command processing — though only Amazon has MIMO support and dual antennas. Where the Nest Hub Max shines is its built-in Chromecast, which provides faster connectivity than Bluetooth syncing can typically offer.

Along with Face and Voice Match, the Nest display also has some limited Quick Gesture support, such as holding up your hand in front of the camera to pause the music, without even having to make a verbal command.

The Echo Show 10 is made of 30% post-consumer recycled plastics and 100% post-consumer recycled fabric and aluminum thanks to Amazon’s new focus on environmental efficiency. It also has a new Low Power Mode setting for all of its new Echo devices that uses less electricity whenever the Echo isn’t being actively used.

Amazon Echo Show 10 vs Nest Hub Max: Which should you buy?


Amazon and Google’s latest smart displays have comparable pricing, security camera settings, robust smart home support for third-party devices, HD resolution, auto-facial tracking so people you call get a constant close-up of you from afar, and several other features in common.

The Echo Show 10 has superior specs, but stick with the Nest Hub Max if you prefer Google Assistant to Alexa.

Where the Echo Show 10 stands out, of course, is in its mobility. So consider where in your home you would place such a smart display. On a kitchen island, for instance, having a rotating base would be incredibly useful. If you would place it against a wall, or somewhere where the Nest’s 127-degree lens would capture everything anyway, you may not really need that feature.

Ultimately, you can make a case for either smart display, based on where you fall on the Google Assistant vs Alexa debate. But the Echo Show 10 benefits from more powerful processing for voice commands, plus a far-superior camera with a physical shutter for privacy. By comparison, the Nest Hub Max is already a bit dated and could use an upgrade: we’ve already made a wish list of 5 ways Google should update the Nest Hub Max to beat the Amazon Echo Show 10.

Alexa on the move

Amazon Echo Show 10


Doubles its rival’s camera MP

$250 at Amazon
$250 at Best Buy

Smart displays may never be the same. The Amazon Echo Show 10 keeps you in its sights at all times, with a high-quality camera that’ll make you appear clearly during video calls even at a distance. It also doubles as a panning indoor security camera.

Personalized recommendations

Nest Hub Max


A base for all your Google tech

$230 at Best Buy
$229 at Walmart
$229 at B&H

This smart display serves many purposes: a central location to link and control all of your smart home devices through Google Assistant, a bright screen to view a slideshow of all your Google Photos, a Nest Cam for home surveillance, and much more.

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